3. Communication skills: Listen to the answers
This one is a tough one for many. Often, when in a discussion, we hear what someone is saying, but instead of really listening, we’re busy thinking about what we’re going to say next. People feel the need to fill the silence, so being quiet after asking a question shows that you care about what the other person is saying.
It gives them the space they might need to think and answer your question more comprehensively.
Listening can give us the chance to process information, which helps to prevent misunderstandings and problems caused by miscommunication.
4. Communication skills: Don’t interrupt!
Interrupting someone demonstrates that you’re not really listening to what they’re saying, or worse don’t care about what they’re saying. For example, if you interrupt someone to add your own thoughts, opinions and experiences it sends the message that you think you “know it all” and are not open to what other people might have to say on the subject.
Sometimes, people will not stop talking and may even go off topic from the question that was asked. If this happens, using body language to signal that you want to speak (e.g. slightly raising your hand with your palm facing them to signal “stop”) might help send a non-verbal message that their time to speak is coming to an end. If you say something like, “Let me see if I understand what you’re saying…”, allows for a natural pause and can steer them back to the main topic of the conversation.